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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  March 17, 2012 7:00am-10:00am EDT

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then, new york times finance reporter talks about the ethics of investment banks. later, george washington university law professor talks about that davis-bacon act and prevailing wages for publicly funded construction projects. "washington journal" is next. host: when the health care lawfully takes effect -- today, barbara mikulski becomes the longest serving woman in congressional history. the senate will pay tribute to her next week. the supreme court yesterday decided not to televise the oral arguments before the patient
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protection and affordable health care act. this arguments are expected to go under way later this month. the supreme court decided they will not televise them. it went to get your thoughts and whether you think this was a good one or a bad one, regardless, tell us why. here's how you can do so, the numbers are on the screen. you can also send us an e-mail. if you want to reach us on twitter, it is @cspajwj. if you want to reach out, go to here is the paper right up. this is "the washington post."
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the court made a decision on friday. the supreme court released an official response saying that because of the extraordinary public interest in those cases, the court will provide the audio recordings and transcripts of the oral arguments on expedited basis. you can go to the core's website. it will post audio recordings as soon as the files are available to uploading. the audio recordings should be available later than 2:00 p.m.. the recording of the march 28 afternoon session should be available no later than 4:00 p.m.. regardless, we will be putting them on our network. when you do so for march 26 to
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28th, you can do so and see that on and access it through our video library. host: we want to get your thoughts on the decision. we ask you to call us and tell us why. the numbers are on the screen. a little bit more as we take your calls on the decision. the court had never allowed --
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had never allowed camera in its courtroom or live broadcasts of the proceeding. the judiciary committee approved a bill that called for televising the supreme court's arguments. host: here is a comment. patrick leahy saying that -- host: to your thoughts in this
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decision by the supreme court. kevin, you are first on our democrats' line. good morning. what do you think about the decision? caller: i think it was great. the supreme court has 32nd spots on all the cable networks. i am glad they held out. they should never be televised. host: when you say there will be 30-second spots, you are saying that the proceedings will be reduced to sound bites? caller: yes. it is a terrible concept to have the supreme court televised. terrible concept. host: is this only because of the nature that it would reduce the amount of -- reduce it to sound bites? caller: i to reduce the commitee
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of the supreme court. host: joy kupper -- joe, independent line. hello. caller: the perception will be that the supreme court gave us a terrific health care bill. the reality is, there was a democrat making backroom deals that give us the health care bill. the larger issue is, and you should know this, the democrats had a deal with brian lamb that they were going to be open, transparent, and c-span was going to carry the health-care debate on c-span. host: that was no deal. that was the interest and statements made by those people. no deals were made by us. caller: i thought the deal was made to open up the hearings. host: we were interested in transparency and hearing them -- caller: they turned them down? host: they turned many down. the supreme court decided not to
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air the arguments, what do you think? caller: i too would be reduced to sound bites. -- it would be reduced to sound bites. putting together of this still needs to be televised. what the supreme court says, we will know about. this is that back room deals that need to be televised. those arguments. host: use it we will know about them. caller: this will be in the papers. you guys will tell us what was said. host: it does not matter to you? -- new jersey, paul, democrats' line. caller: hi. host: go ahead. caller: i think this is a bad decision.
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it proves they do want to expose themselves to being partisan in their ideologies. host: stop listening to the tv and go ahead with your statement. caller: why did they not challenge mitt romney's health care law? i t was wrong for mr. roberts to put it on the calendar without any challenges. host: why do you think it would be a sideshow? caller: credible challenge to it. and i think it was wrong for mr. troobs even put it on the calendar without even telling anyone. host: does that matter to you in the long run? caller: yes. it does. we should know, because we all
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have something invested in this. host: and so let me go one step further. would you be willing as far as they are going to release audio and video later, will you be willing to sit down and listen to that as far as audio is concerned or would you still rather see it televised? caller: yes. it will still show the intent. anything is better than nothing. host: there's a related story taking a look at that. how robert's court could -- most of the time, the obama administration will try twins justices -- try to convince the
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justices require that almost every american person pay a health penalty. >> it goes on to the next page may be quote getible, just as justice anthony even justice ant anyone scalia might be brought aboard. the court's liberals, ruth baiter ginsburg and my your and kagan, on the other side, clarence tomas has spent -- in the federal government. quote, i think the rest are more or less perceived as being -- and it goes on from there, the story that was posted yesterday when it comes to the actual mechanics of those listening to the arguments.
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but we're asking you this morning to get your thoughts on the decision not to televise the debate. caller: i have a few comments i'd like to make. first of all, regarding the cameras in the supreme court, i am for that decision. i think it promotes intellectualism. i think when you provide only the audio recording of the hearing, you're going to limit the listening audience to more of an intellectual audience. regarding the -- host: can you expand on that last point? caller: yes. i think the general populous is more prone to just be fed what the main media outlets are feeding them. but if you're more of someone who is going to delve into the
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subjects, you're going to be willing to be disciplined about listening to the entire oral argument in this case. also on the motivation, the back door sort of deals, i think what led up to this decision, i think that in and of itself just sheds some light on the fact that the people of this country are really starting to turn their attention to perhaps the balance of powers and how they need to be updated to and how they need encompass all the tech in a logical things that have taken place. host: indianapolis, indiana. tommy, independent line. caller: this is 2012. let's bring the cameras into the courtrooms. this is the supreme court. why are we keeping cameras
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out? it's a tech in a logical age. let's record it and see what everybody has to say. host: what are the values of airing these? caller: well, even if there are sound bites, you're still going to see who says what and how it affects it all. we're so backward really in the health care community and the cost and in the western civilization. health care is just a major issue, and i don't understand why it can't be televised so we can be informed of what's going on. host: one of the previous callers mentioned playing to the camera would come into play if they are allowed to televise these events. caller: that's fine. people are going to do that.
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but if it's important issues they see all the time, any issue in front of the supreme court should be televised on some level. host: here's are story about medicaid in the "wall street journal." states get medicaid rules. the regulations published by the department of health and human resources to cover a larmir batch of low earners in 2014. the medicaid expansion is part of the law brought that the supreme court will begin hearing in 2006. the number of uninsured americans. while the case before the court centers on the law's requirements that most americans carry insurance or pay a fee, it is brought that you it also goes against constitution.
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we want to get your thoughts on the decision itself not televise the supreme court's debates. you can call us. the numbers are on the screen and you can also email us or tweet us. according to robert barns of the "washington post," it's the justices that will do that from march 26-28. again, without cameras being there, the audio will be there later in the day after the
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proceedings. caller: i think the supreme court made a great decision. you can absorb more orally than visually when you're dealing with the supreme court. it's so boring in their chambers. however, i also believe it's a highly vol tile situation, and if it goes against it, it also hurts romney and president obama. so i think they should just keep the cameras out, and let these ladies and gentlemen deliberate this very important matter. host: since you think those can absorb more via audio, what's your take on releasing the information afterwards? caller: i'd rather be preparing a meal or washing or waxing the car or sitting down in heavy
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concentration. i absorb more than by looking at the screen. even when i watch your program daily, i'd rather do something and hear you guys in the background. host: again, regardless whether it's going to be put out on audio, it will be brought to you by c-span. we plan to bring it to you via audio. there will be a resource for you. you can go to our c-span video library, and we will air it as soon as it's released. that's in reaction to the supreme court deciding not to allow tv coverage of the -- stay close to our website for more information. from oregon, you're next. independent, michael? good morning. caller: good morning. i happen to flip channels and
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catch what's on the news. i wasn't exactly sure what was going on with the health care, but now i realize the argument is you want to televise that you want an audio of next week? host: the audio will come out that day. the seven news organizations had asked for a televised version of the oral arguments. caller: and that's going to start when? host: 26-28. caller: well, first of all, i, myself, i am old-school. i like to watch. i like to watch something rather than just listen to it. more people would probably want to watch it and understand what's going on. i -- you know, i think that to me, i might be old-school in a way, too. but i think it would be more commonistic that if they just
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go audio. because something could be hidden or dubbed. to see it live, ok? host: mm-hmm. caller: i -- i would rather see it, myself. host: and that's a difference than our previous caller who said he would rather listen to it and clean around the house. host: well, all he has to do is turn up the volume, if it's being televised, right? host: and that's michael from oregon. kansas up next. good morning to norma. republican line. >> yes. i don't think it should be televised. audio? yes. and i'm like the guy. i like to listen to things as i do things around the house. quite frankly, i think in anything is televised, i don't know, it seems to be blown out of proportion. host: people would play to the
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cameras and that sort of thing? caller: yes. host: are you going to be one of those who actuality sits down and listens to the audio portions of it? caller: probably not. but like i said. i have seen too many cases in the public -- i'm talking about trials and stuff like that. where it's been on tv and stuff like that, and honestly, it's just crazy. but one thing, i would probably listen to it if the supreme court would use simple words. i am so sick and tired of these great big long words. i'm 67, going on 68. sometimes if you want to know what they mean, you have to look it up. and that is my opinion. host: and that's kansas. related to the topic of the health care law being argued before the supreme court, you will want to tune into our newsmaker's program. it features thetorian general
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of virginia who made arguments against the supreme court law and talks to reporters about that decision and the larger aspects of the health care. as you listen to the bit of exchange with the reporters, one thing is how he expects the role john roberts may play in the arguments later this month. >> justice roberts. some look at his joining the majority the week before the federal government filed their motion to dismiss, as a harbinger of doom for our side. i don't see it that way. despite the very broad language of the comstock case, which was a necessary and proper cause case. the majority of the opinion brings broad opinion through a very thin funnel. and the american -- can't get through that very thin funnel. if that's the requirement for
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john roberts, then i'm confident but there's not been enough time since the comstock case for us to determine that. host: more about the supreme court and other issues with ken chuche nelly, a newsmaker's program that airs after this program. you can see it once at 10:00 a.m. and again at 6:00 p.m. in the evening on c-span. also listen to it on c-span radio via or c-span video library and at, too. to registernal, democrats line. caller: yes. host: you're on. go ahead and ignore the tv. just go ahead with your statement. go ahead. caller: well, i believe that it should be telecast. i believe in this day and age that there's no problem. we're going to air on total -- we're going to err on
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transparency. i have a problem with people who don't understand we have car insurance mandated in the states. so why can't we have health care mandated? >> that is tweet from another. we want to see these things when it comes to the debates of the supreme court. the supreme court turning down the requests of the television of the oral arguments. host: joe. republican line. caller: as far as you know, obama, the way he runs his policy there, he promised a lot of transparency, but mant delivered any. and with them doing this behind closed doors, i mean what's new about that policy? host: well, this decision was made by the supreme court itself. so you factor that into your
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comments as well. host: well, didn't he hear a while -- didn't he here a while back or a month or so ago, have somebody that was one of his puppets there in the supreme court? host: as far as the televising of the events, what did you think about the decision itself? was it a good one or a bad one? caller: anything done behind closed doors, doesn't that -- host: there will be audio released of the arguments. expedited arguments at that. that will give people access to what was said. caller: he promised a lot of transparency whenever he was campaigning, and he's delivered none of it. because everything he does, he does behind closed doors.
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host: "the washington post" this morning talks about the release of the congressional bench's office when it comes to the 2013 budget saying -- the headline is in the c.b.o. says mr. obama's definites and would be higher if it were not for mr. obama's proposal to raise taxes on higher income people. and it claims the obama budget brings the deficit under control at least when measured by most evaluating the deficit. they say deficits of the share of the economy would be below 3%. that's jeffrey of the white house budget, acting director. to decrease then stabilize the share of the economy. lower on it says that the
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report is a precursor to the annual budget debate in congress with house committee chairman paul ryan planning to -- saying the president will not fulfill his promise to cut it after one term. the c.b.o. estimates the next year's deficit will be higher mr. ryan said in a statement. we'll see this in a bit, but paul ryan himself put out a video giving a preview of what will go wrong when they release the budget. a few more calls concerning the supreme court's decision, no cameras when it comes to the health care case. winchester. todd, independent line. caller: yes. good morning. as a teacher, i appreciate your pace with the last callers that the guy didn't even know the difference between the two branches. 2 supreme court made the right
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decision. if they are smart enough to get on the supreme court, they are smart enough to know the pitfalls of televising their oral arguments. the news media cannot and is clearly in ept in covering any supreme court -- host: caller, you there? i think we -- we've lost the caller. apologies to that. caller, if you want to try again and get back in, do so. benson on the republican line? caller: yes, i think it should be televised so we can actually see their lips move and know we are not being fooled in any case. even here at the township board, we have -- we have problems with them making laws and ordnances, and we don't know who made them. and over a time period,
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recordings and so forth have been done, but they lost the recorder. and i think that it is a good thing that the people actually can see the person that is speaking. so your reaction of having an audio only veil billty? >> yes. i think it's a waste of time. host: because? caller: because you don't know who was speaking, actually, and who has been cut out. host: washington, d.c., you're on. caller: if chief justice robert did vote on it, how did the votes come out. second thing is why do we have mail legislators requiring twoim look at pictures of their
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uterus before they have an abortion, but they won't put this debate on tv. host: tell us why you don't think or why you think the debate should be televised. caller: we have hearings all over the place that are televised. host: so what's the value of actually seeing it on tv. caller: because i pay taxes. pay taxes. i pay their salaries. host: the region sectionnal of the american politics section talks about the senator from maryland. she's 75 and becomes the longest-serving woman in congressional history today passing the republican who spent 35 years on capitol hill. she is the longest-serving female.
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mccall ski's senate colleagues will pay tribute to her on the senate floor that afternoon and then she will be honored by nancy pelosi. here's a bit promised to you as far as paul ryan, the video released in view of the republicans. >> this coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we've ever had in this country. this is why we're acting. this is why we're leading. this is why we're proposing the passing of the house budget to fix this problem, so we can save our future and our children's future. host: and that is
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.gov. democrats line, you're on. caller: everythinging that goes down in government, it should belong to the people. i agree with the other caller. we pay taxes. we vote these people in. once we vote them in, we can't say, figure. host: what benefit would you get by listening to these proceedings. caller: you want to see who is actually doing this and you want to know who is against you and who is with you? that's another thing, what's the scre as i? why won't they tell us why they made that decision?
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i mean the whole thing was hiddeden behind closed doors. pelosi comes out and says we'll find out what's in the bill when the bill comes out. it's not how government is supposed to work. it's how it's working today but nobody says dig, because once they get in there, they are not allowed to -- host: from the secretary -- showing secretary panetta was under risk of an attack. and said an afghan in a speeding truck tried to run down a manager forcing two and others to scatter as defense secretary leon i netta's plane taxied to them. for the latest account of what was a suicide attack shows
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there was a greater risk than military official then -- they did not immediately disclose important details of the episode. baton rouge, good morning. this is preston. caller: yes. hi. this is preston. host: you're on. caller: i think the supreme court should have at least televise the proceedings, because america is already ignorant enough about politics, and to get this thing out in the open perhaps would get most people in the process and interested in the government. and learn how things work. i've watched political arenas for 75 years.
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and i think that it's time people get involved in their government and stop letting other people tell them what goes on and see it for themselves and maybe they will get involved. host: now you will have a chance to listen to it for themselves, but when you do something like. so they can get interested in it. host: an email from wayne who doesn't indicate where he's from, but says i want to see the justices in action. they determine how we live our life and may influence the presidency, because they are appointed for life. that's off of twitter, facebook. email available to you as well,
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and you can call us. as far as the minutes we have remaining. again, the supreme court deciding that they will not televise health caring arguments skemminged for march 26-28. turning to the financial times this morning. you may have heard earlier about the federal reserve releasing results of what they call stress tests. i am writing in the financial times saying lenders themselves were relieved when stress tests came out saying banks had to prove they could maintain above 57 of risk-weighted assets under the fed's scenario it included a financial system shock. only they been would companies be allowed to buy out inventory but but it was also had a wide
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degree of variation in payout positions. goldman sachs sought only moderate returns to shareholders while j.p. morgan said it would increase its dividends. bank of america and others did not seek to return money to its shareholders. on the independent line, hello. caller: hello. yes. i think that it should be televised, because on the executive side. those who watch tv -- [inaudible] those who listened on the radio thought that nixon won. , so i think --
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host: but how do you equate the kennedy-nixon debates going on? caller: they should have full access to the decisions and other things. host: pennsylvania. karl, republican line. hello. caller: yes. hi. i guess there's no point in arguing a moot point on this. but what will be the earliest possible time that you can -- c-span and others, get some bit of information, like a runner will cop out and say such and such, particularly on the same day? will there be all about us.
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host: we're saying whenever it's released to the public, there's a process to turn them around and make them watchible for television but then you can see it on and video and video library and c-span radio. you can gather what you want to expect. it says, this is from the supreme court release. it says post the audio recordings and unofficial transcripts as soon as the files are -- of the march 26-28 morning sessions, -- the transcripts should be available later -- no later than 4:00
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p.m. that day. watch the network and we will give you the latest information when it comes to when we can put this stuff out. do you have a follow-up question? caller: in the john wayne days, the decision was need come out of the sloon and start shooting their guns. will we have anything like that? host: tell me a little bit about what you think of televising or not of the arguments. what do you make of the expressions. it gives my more less of an idea, is this guy sold on that or is he trying to sell us a bad case or what? and the interference. who interferes and why? you get to see it will be a 5-4, but the question is what
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snive and what four on what? an itemized -- so you want to see how people ask questions and if they interrupt each other? caller: i think the reason -- hey look the movie that won the best picture was a silent movie. why don't we put them on silent and let everybody guess what they are saying. host: karen, democrats line, hi. caller: yes. i would like to see it televised. i'm just wondering is justice tomas going to recuse himself on account his wife is lobbying against the health care bill? >> no indication of that. why does it make a difference to his wife --
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host: what do you think about the decision? caller: i'd like to see it televised, because then you can actually watch the person, the judge that's talking. and the questions he is asking, and from there, you can really tell how they are going to rule. host: tell us a little bit. does it matter -- will you be one of those regardless if it's not televised, will you listen to the audio of the arguments? caller: yes, i will. host: what do you hope to get from the whole thing, i guess is the question. scott: i'd like to see what their reaction is. host: that's karen from illinois. her statement about justice tomas. tomas brought up stories that came out about elena kagan and the role she takes when debating health care --
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whether justice kagan should reaccuse herself from the argument. permission was asked of the court to -- both kagan and clarence tomas have faced calls for reaccusal. one says kagan should not be on the case, because she was involved in that. caller: i think that it would be interesting to see it live. but so much of what the government does is private. or behind doors. i don't really think that it will make that much of a
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difference one way or the other. host: because? caller: because a lot of decisions are made privately. so if it's seen on tv or discussed in private and we just get bits and piecings of what's discussed, whatever will be determined will come out eventually, and then we'll poe -- host: do you plan to listen to a version of it audio-only? caller: i'll listen to bits and pieces but not all of it. just to get a feel of what's going on. host: one of our callers said it may draw people to listen to larger portions. caller: yes, i think that's
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very possible because it affects us in so many ways. i think people will try to get involved and open up good debate down the road. host: from hershey, pennsylvania, doug, independent line. caller: good morning. i think it should be televised. i don't know if there's a particular benefit to televising it. but it's an issue that's going to profoundly affect a lot of people, particularly americans. is there something about watching it like a basketball game where you grab something else? it adds more suspicious -- host: if you want to continue you can go to our website.
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investment banks. you probably heard about the goldman sachs executive retiring or quitting via the pamings of "the new york times" and putting his reasons why. we will see the reaction from that stoimplet first we are going to take a look at politics campaign 2012 and two perspectives. one republican and one democrat as we talk about issues pertaining to 2012 and their age group. we will have that discussion when we come back.
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>> our system is fundamentally undemocratic. all voters cannot participate in the primaries. so they have no say in who gets nominated. as a result, we get more and more extreme candidates on both ends of the spectrum. >> tonight at 10:00 eastern on after words, writing about the deciding voters. and then david brock on how roger ails turned the network into an extension of the republican party. then ameritopia.
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on book tv on c-span 2. >> they would wear garments made of homespun cloth. this would be more textured and much less fine than the kinds of goods they could import from great britain. but by wearing this, women were physically and visibly displaying their political sentiments. >> rose marie on the role of women during the revolutionary war. part of american history tv this weekend on c-span three. >> i was quite a radical as a young person, and i was the one who thought singing "we shall overcome" was not a very effective way of gaining rights. and i thought that more confrontation was needed.
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>> economics professor and columnist and substitute host for rush limbaugh, walter williams on being a radical. >> i believe a radical is anyone who believes in individual liberty and freedom and limited government. that makes you a radical. and i've always been a person that believes people should not interfere with me. i should be able toe do what i please so long as i don't violate the rights of other people. >> on c-span's "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. host: as promised, we are joined at the table today by two people who represent younger voters, younger constituents as we look at campaign 2012. we welcome our guests. thank you for being here. we call you young voters, but
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particularly, how is your view of what's going on particularly in this campaign different from older voters. >> the college republican national committee serves as the umbrella for over 1,800 campuses. age group 18-239. we made up 70% of the electorate. the youth vote gained a lot of attention. host: as 2012 comes up and you're looking at the youth vote, how are those who voted for president obama last time faring these days? >> well, the turnout was at historic levels. the other interesting thing is the margin of victory for president obama lemarcus
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aldridge 2-1. so what we're trying to see is in 2012 do the obama voters come back? the committee is doing a lot to see and we think they are going to stick with the president based on what we're seeing so far. host: does the president have to work harder this time around? guest: of course. 2008 was an interesting year because in a lot of ways we were running against previous administration. now you're running on your own record and you have to talk about the last three or four years and connect young voters with the last three years. and i think he's doing that quite well. mid terms always have a lower rating. you had john mccain to focus on last time. this time you have four men republicans can focus on. what does that mean for those,
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especially as they are looking at who they are going to pull levers for. ultimately at the end of the process. guest: we've got four wonderful candidates. governor romney who has won the last couple of races was able to win the youth vote? nevada and florida which are incredibly important swing states. and ron paul did a lot to bring in new voters. so at the end of the day, no matter who our nominee is, we're sure they will -- host: so you've mentioned mr. romney and paul but left out the other two. guest: santorum and gingrich have been great to the organization. we're excited about the primary process. but we also have important
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races in the senate. we need to keep the house as well. so we're looking at montana and nebraska. they have senate races as well. it's an exciting time to be involved and look at the youth vote. host: where do you see the vote standing right now? guest: senate looks like it's in better shape when kerry announced he was jumping in the race in nebraska, certainly improved our living there. the chances of holding the senate is better than it was. i think a lot of excessive districts went republican and maycom back to the democrats. can we pick up enough seats to regain the house? i think it's a tall order but
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in play. if obama has a really good year, we could have the house and senate back in democratic control. guest: 2010 was obviously an important year, but also we were able to take back state legislatures and snats in 2000. in 2000 you're going to see districts go back to their original roots and stay more favorable for republicans in the elections. by we mentioned nebraska and bob kerry. big apple bob. he wasn't even a nebraskan resident when he filed his paperwork. in maine we have a couple of candidates that just filed and made the ballot. so i'm confident these races, we hope to take back the upper
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chamber. host: here's your chance to ask them questions for the next 40 minutes or so. you can do so via phone at 202-737-0001 for democrats and 202-737-0002 for republicans and 202-628-0184 for those i don't have you who are under 30. you can email us or give us a tweet at are you guys on twitter? >> absolutely. host: how is it changing as far as the political process? guest: yes. even facebook where it was four years ago compared to where it is today. every day weaver trying to get information out about what's
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happening number of the only with what's happening to the candidates. guest: you asked how sit different today than it was in the 1970's and up to the 1990's. i think it's the availability on information. we have 300,000 fans on facebook. so we're excited about reaching these voters where they are. so going after them instead of waiting for them to come to us. host: here's our guest. what's yours question or comment, sir? caller: good morning, everybody. i'd like to point out the progressive movement that started in the beginning of the 20th century has been working
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wholeheartedly and has seized control from kindergarten to the higher education. the only way president obama won the last election was because he called in his chip. they had been brain washing our kids and turning them eagainst irrational fighter -- against irrational thoughts. you might be intelligent but you really don't have a basis for rational thought until you become a full adult. so what president obama did during that last election was call in his chips with all these zhrigets, and the only way he won that election was the offsetting of the votes. and he has turned the progressive movement has turned our kids against us rational
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adults. host: your response? guest: well, he took swipes at education and voters. >> i think that young people have an important contribution to make to the political dialogue in this country and i think that caller is a little bit dismissive of us. we have many young voters serving overseas. but president obama is investing in education and doubling the size of pell grants and the investment of pell groonts make sure people have access to higher education and making sure 2.5 million new young americans have health care. young people are responding, because barack obama is treating this voting demographic as a serious one that needs to be talked to directly and their concerns need to be discussed specifically. i think that's why young voters
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are so supportive. host: there's a reach-out component as far as those students? guest: yes. and the -- nine of every 10 college professors are registered democrats. but it's target earlier. it's starting k-12. the two parties and the movement has to take a serious look at the country and wound side you see president obama lock step with the younger voters. host: on the democrats line.
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caller: yes. the last election, the fact that a lot of democrats were -- democrats. and they fought against everything that the president is trying to do. they are pushing this a anti-abortion bill. foolishness. and a lot of people, the democrats and independents walked away from the democratic parties because of these democrats acting like republicans. so i think the democrats might want to get their numbers up again then have to tame these blue democrats. thank you. host: i know he was -- guest: you see a lot of media about the soul searching of the republican party and having a crowded primary on the
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republican side, we've worked through that. but you don't hear about the same fight on the left. avenue committee who has moved far west. and i think president obama is trying to move back in the middle because he knows he needs to do that in order to win but like that caller, he is saying we want to continue. if they continue to move farther to the left, our party continues to grow. host: let's be fair, as the role of mod rats, mod rats democrats. guest: if moving to the left means 2 million new jobs and economy on the rebound and lowest unemployment in three years, i don't know if you can characterize it as liberal and conservative, but democratic party versus the republican party, no doubt the republican
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party is the bigger. it's a perfect example of how we have seen the race to the right. i hi it's hurting mitt romney who is likely the nominee. he's had to go far to the right. i think at the end of the day, the democrats are going to be far more united than the republicans. i'm from west virginia. i probably wouldn't put myself to the furtherest left hand end of the spectrum. i think there's you mentioned economic issues. i wanted to bring up this poll result how peek look tat economy. there is a story that was released pew written by the christian science monitor three in ten young adults still live with their parents. what does this mean looking for a job? >> the pew data put out yesterday is very important
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you're going to see that messaging continue in 2012. students are graduating college with record student loan debt. $22,000 is now the average debt for a college graduate and they're going out and seeing $4 gas and finding temporary jobs not careers and moving back into their parents basement. and what we're talking about, what our party is going out is the party of ippedents. getting a job where you pay for your own hins. and you can support yourself as opposed to living on the dole of somebody else. host: how much power does lies within one man to make that happen? guest: i think it's about a movement, controlling both chambers and the white house and overall the policy geared toward economic development lets look at how those numbers affect young people. 18% unemployment. half of young people 18-29 didn't get up and go to work yesterday. thrrs $15 trillion of national
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debt that our generation is responsible for paying for and president obama did nothing but add to that. he said he would cust that debt in half. >> host: and job creation today? guest: we all know that the president inherited the worst economic recession in 100 years. we were hemorrhaging jobs at a record rate. he not only stopped that the bottom falling out but is actually for 23 straight months has had private sector job growth that is significant and historic. 2011 was the best year we've had in six years in job creation. george bush only had one year that was as good as 2011. but we're climbing out of a very deep hole. second to that what the republicans are doing and the proposals actually results in probably the largest generational shift in wealth that we have ever seen. they are not addressing the problems when it comes to education and job creation. their top priority is making
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sure that large tax cuts for the wealthiest americans for the top 1% are held in place at the expense of programs that help young people get ahead. what they're relegating our generation to would be the first generation that doesn't have an opportunity to better than our parents. these are the priorities of the republican party. why young people are not being attracted to this current field of republican candidates. host: nume for our guests republican line. go ahead. caller: thank very much. i'm a republican, been a republican for 35 years and i wonder if you can speak to how much support and why does ron paul have? because you can speak to this you're an expert in this area -- with the younger persons. i'm an older guy but i'm looking at mitt romney with offshore bank accounts and i'm saying loser that cannot win. i'm looking at republicans and democrats humenty dumpty. we're going to bankrupt
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ourselves. all of the big key issues that ron paul says are right on the money. and i'm wondering, is the young republicans on the college campus are they resonating with paul? let's play it forward another election psych doll you see that paul movement whether it has another face or another banner flag banner holder as a growing wave in the republican party? >> guest: i think all four republican candidates are exciting that young people are starting their student groups. congressman paul carrying over from his 2008 election has always done well with young people. i think it's because he's talking about a message that has to do with getting our economy back on track and the idea of independents so at the end of the day from 2008-2010 we found a 20% increase in our membership and we continue to see growth in the last 12 months as well. i think anybody that brings new voters and individuals to a party is exciting we should
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embrace that. congressman paul swun of those people. but all of the candidates, governor romney and senator santorum, gingrich and paul are talking about young people and how it affects young people. congressman paul has run a great campaign on the college campuses as other. so when we get to november young people that supported all four of them will unite. >> how different is the message from congressman paul compared to the other three? >> i don't think it's that different. i think it goes back to independents, living by yourself and supporting yourself as opposed to depending on other people. that's what congressman paul has been talking about and we've seen similar messages. this is about $15 frl of national debt. 18% youth unemployment number cannot be forgotten. young people are graduating and cannot find jobs and the government is saying we'll pay for your student loans we'll pay for your health care. at the end of the day we're still paying for it. host: glothse to washington.
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line for those under 30. jonathan who identifies himself as 26. welcome to the program. caller: 26 years ofmente it really breaks down to a couple main issues of demographics and new ideas. basically, everybody that turns 18 this year, 66% of the 4 million are democrat and it's because the republican party has shown a real lack of the ability to draw new ideas and draw new people into that tent. i mean, you know, you hear the president talking about financial aid and lowering college tuition and thing that is really benefit young americans, you really don't hear that from much of the republican party. you hear ron paul talking about certain issues and i think the reason he gets such a large drawing from the youth vote is because he offers new ideas, new principles and brings new things to the table where as the other three candidates are really going on failed policies
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of the past. host: who did you vote for last time? caller: barack obama. host: and your thoughts on this time around? caller: it's got to be the president he's the only one who has shown consistency and has the ability to affect change. he has over the past three nauf years instrumented fundamental reforms in government and large part and done a lot of the things that he campaigned for. host: how would you identify yourself politically? caller: independent. guest: i appreciate your call. and it sort of gets back to the very first caller who talked about the brain washed youth of america. jonathan sounds like a thoughtful person and thought about how he's going to vote this year. what he just stated is consistent with what we're hearing across the country right now. young people are taking a look, seeing how hard the president is working and they're responding.
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if you look at youth turnout in the primary so far, if you combine all the republican candidates in most of these early states, the young voters who turned out for those four individuals do not equal what barack obama was polling just himself. and remember he was in a very competitive primary again. barack obama himself eclipses the entire field of republicans when it comes to youth turnout. they have a problem with young voters. it is well known, it is not getting better and i don't think that when it comes to november of this year that young people are going to suddenly wake up and think that offshore bank account mitt romney is suddenly the person looking out for their interests. host: you can respond to him. also, the caller mentioned the lack of ideas coming from the republican side. guest: democrats like to say they have a lock on young voters. the republican partice has won the vote. we tied it twice more. in 2004 president bush lost it
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54-45. why is that and what can we do to change it. but if you look to 2010 you started to see that gap start to close. the national registration rates among young people went from as the caller identified 66% identified themselves as democrats or liberal and began to close as more people are registering and identifying themselves as plibs and as conservative. and people are starting to see the fact that the policies that this president is interested in are those who get him reelected. we talk about student reform. the fact is that this package saved the average student $46 a month. if you make more than $45,000 a year you're not eligible for it. he chose to announce this in harvard paper. he just doesn't get it. these aren't real reforms. tuition is rising. a 15% rise in the $10,000 a year tuition is not going to be solved by a $4 a month fix. i think republicans are
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offering big ideas and here they are talking about plans to get this economy back on track. >> what's the biggest idea? guest: the biggest idea san economic environment that brings job creation. it's not about job-killing regulating policies. it's about getting people on their own. repealing health care is the first start of that. >> host: our guests are two people who represent younger viewpoints when it comes to political thought especially campaign season joined by alex sliver, rod snider. we have about 20 more minutes with our guests. los angeles, california. go ahead. caller: first i want to just in the interest of full disclosure i'm a professor of political science. i was a little disappointed that the gentleman from the young republicans was so critical of academia but i know
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that the topic for another time. but at some point i would like you to reflect on whether or not your experience at college, whether you were penalized in any way for being conservative. but more importantly than that, i think that's a topic that's worth discussing. what i would like to see and hear you talk about -- because i think that probably the best way to fix our political system if i could change any one thing, it would be that young people voted. so i look at you and i think this is what's going to save the united states. young people getting involved. so are there areas on which you two can find agreement on any topic whatsoever? because it has to be that young people have common interests. you have the same interests. social security, medicare problems, all the stuff that's going to affect you. thing that is are happening now you are going to have to pay for it. is there any area of agreement that you have? host: do you want to start?
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guest: sure. i think philosophically what alex and i would like to see for this country is probably very similar. we want to see a strong economy, we want to see probably a strong national defense to ensure that america's future is bright. we want to see job creation, we want to make sure that people have a safety net when it comes to health care and retirement and things of this nature. i think the tough part is agreeing on the policies that get us there. and i actually think that disagreement is healthy. my concern in recent years is has not been folks taking off the positions on things as alex and i are probably going to do all morning long. it's the tone that we've seen in washington, it's the tone that we've seen coming out of congress and even on cable news. it's become so venmuss that it's hard for folks to sit down and have an informed discussion. that's what worries me and that's what i think is probably turning away young people from the political process. i've said before, people are coming in and kind of poisoning the well and then telling young
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people why they don't want to drink the water. we don't like what we're hearing. we want to see an elevated debate about these shared goals that we have and how we get there. that's what i would like to see for the future of american politics. >> guest: we both agree on the importance of the major issues at hand in this country. i think where we disagree is how we get there. i think as he mention sd that disagreement is healthy it moves the political debate along. but this is 50b9 not kicking the can down the road. how do we address the issues? entitlement reform, medicaid, social security. and our generation which 20 years from now is going to be footing the bill and may not be around for us to benefit from. and so as we continue i think this is a healthy debate of how we get this country back on track. host: west virginia is next. steve, republican line. caller: the point is i'm getting sick and tired of hearing this lie about the
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economy. bush had 54 months of interrupted growth which was interrupt bid the democrats taking over in 2006. that's the reason why we have such a lousy economy. and my middle name is lewis and john l. lewis was the worst thing that ever happened to west virginia. it has never recovered from his bad policies and union destruction. host: the bush economic era or accomplishments. guest: and we hear all the time that president obama inherited one of the worst economies ever but let's look at 2006 when the democrats took back the house and the policies that they put in place and still dealing with some of the credit squeeze. i think the next credit bubble that's going to face the country is the student loan market, $1 trillion out there in student loans that's an astronomical number that young people are facing but i think that president bush in my opinion did help the economy and did have the right policies
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and we have seen the last 36 months policies that haven't worked. >> then your take on president bush and his economic accomplishments. guest: first, greetings to steve from my home state of west virginia. i like to hear callers from west virginia even if we disagree. you know, it's funny because folks keep talking about the deficits for the last few years under barack obama but they seem to dismiss the historic deficits that actually began occurring under the bush administration. the economy that was in free fall at the end of 2008 was a result of poor policy decisions over the course of the bush administration spending that was awry and quite frankly little regard for deficits under that administration. and i think even in private most republicans will admit that the party lost a lot of credibility during that period of time because of its not talking the talk or walking the walk. so when i hear about the deficits i just chuckle a lit because it seems like it wasn't that important to them a few
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years ago. as far as the economy, the numbers speak for themselves. we actually have seen real job growth in the last 24 months. we've seen a real rebound in the unemployment rate. it just is going to take time to dig ourselves out of this very, very deep hole. host: washington, d.c., let's get a response when we come back. good morning. independent line. caller: good morning. i've got five kids and three in middle school and two in high school. and they want to know, how can the republican side say that they're educated with the ones they have running for president don't have an idea what's going on. and they're the ones thinking that obama is the only one that's in -- not the only one but the only politician that's educated. host: when you say those on the republican side say they have no idea what's going on, what
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do you mean by that? guest: the thing that is come out of their -- caller: the thing that is come out of their mouth. the lies. they're not telling the truth and the kids are being lost. guest: i disagree. i think the republicans are highly educated. i think our field are very intelligent folks who understand inherently that the situation of this country is in. these are four men that have all gone through quite a rigorous education. dr. ron paul, a medical doctor, governor romney who ran one of the largest companies was responsible for turning around the 2002 elimb picks. santorum as well. gingrich serving as the head of the house of representatives. but as we talk about the last question, what's going on with -- i will say that republicans lost their way. we started to spend more and because of that we paid for it in e 2008 you saw us pay for it. but as our party has returned
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to our roots, smaller government, less spending, the responsible party out there, i think we've started to see young people come back to us and say that's what we want. and that's why we saw gains in 2010 and we'll see them again in 2012. >> host: when those cuts that comes to the expense of entitlement programs? guest: it's all the above. guest: which affects you but i think our generation is willing to take on that discussion to have a serious debate. 54% of the young people disapprove of obama's handling on the issue and democrats like to talk about how successful obama care was. they didn't do anything to fix the system. they added millions of people to an already broken system. and a quarter of young people are still uninsured. this is about how do we get this economy back on track without putting the backs of health care on every single taxpayer. host: and how would you respond to that? guest: if republicans had their way, repealing the affordable care act, 2.5 million americans
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would actually be thrown off the rolls. so if they're so concerned about the 25% of young americans without hirns you don't start with repealing the law. i think it's a tiny bit disingenuous. we have a policy that is getting people the health care that they need and we need to make sure we continue moving forward with that. the other thing i would say about deficits is when we say all of the above that seems to mean everything except for revenue increases. when mitt romney was asked a few months ago would he support a plan that had 10-1 spending can you tell us to tax increases the answer was no. it seems that no tax increase or no revenue increase to the government is acceptable to the republican field. barack obama has said let's take a balanced approach. let's see where sputs are necessary and -- spending cuts are necessary. if you're trying to balance your budget you try
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to figure out how to make cuts and how to bring more money into the door. it begins by taking a look and see can we afford to continue the bush era tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% of americans billions of dollars that has created a hole in our budget that we need to have a discussion about whether or not that was helping the economy. host: is there a difference generationally? guest: how can you say it's a balanced approach when the president has put forth a budget that continues to add trillions of dollars of debt? running highest deficits in our nation's country? there's nothing balanced about the three largest deft sits and we have to get back to a balanced budget. we obviously support a balanced budget amendment. the idea of cut cap and balance is put forth and encourage everybody to see what we're talking about and understand that running a government at such a great deficit is not healthy for anyone. and in the upper chamber in the senate it's been a thousand days since the senate democrat have put forth a budget.
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one of the most forefront constitutional duties and they haven't fulfillled that. congressman ryan's plan, there's a lot out there for your voters to check out. i think all four have talked about how they would go through the budgeting process and it's an important debate. host: revenue increases? guest: no. we have to look at how can we live within our means and how can we without raising taxes put this country back on track. host: ohio, democrat's line. caller: i would like to go back to i'm 8 years old and -- 83 years old and would like to go back to where bush's father was in -- he was in the c.i.a. i believe and north was with the guns and drugs and he stood up and said i'm a marine, i'm not going to be -- i don't want to take the brunt of this and bush admitted that he was was the one that did it.
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he lost the desert storm war. he promised his son that he would make him a president. the republican party as far as down as i can reach have been so corrupt. they're not for the people. host: your comment specifically for our guests? caller: i would like to know what the republican party if they did get back in, if they would continue to bring it into a dictatorship that we just got rid of. host: can i turn this to foreign policy particularly coming out of decisions made about afghanistan in the last few days. what do you think about the president's approach? guest: well, look, the president has been successful i think president bush needs to be credited for keeping us safe for the seven years following 9/11 and we saw the effect that had on our economy. and for the past 36 months the president has had tremendous
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gains for capturing and killing osama bin laden. he should be credited with that. but we've started to see the president's approach in afghan p and how do we deal with iran. i think we would both agree on the importance of israel and how that plays in our overall middle eastern policy and our approach to dealing with iran and the threat of a nuclear iran and how it affects israel. host: moving troops to bases by 2013 is that satisfactory for you? guest: you know, i think we'll wait and see. host: mr. snyder guest: i think barack obama as far as his first term goes will be remembered as much for his foreign policy successes in the first term. it's been remarkable what we've seen happen. we've brought the iraq war to a responsible end under the leadership of this president we have taken steps to have a drawdown of troops in afghanistan. our military under the leadership of barack obama captured and osama bin laden's
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time here on earth has come to an end. and also looking at the situation in libya which i think was handled also quite responsibly no boots on the ground. qaddhafi overthrown. it's been a very tumulttuss period of time in the middle east and barack obama has been a very steady hand at the wheel throughout this period of time. and i think that young people who have come of age during kind of the post 9/11 era including myself, my very first day ever in washington, d.c. as a young intern was september 11, 2001, have profound impact on my life tofment see a president take such strong positions on foreign affairs, osama bin laden what happened in that situation, i think that actually has a profound impact on young people looking at are we safe under this president? i think the answer is clearly yes. host: new york, republican line for our guest. we have about ten more minutes. caller: both students make good points but my point is that most of the young students are
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pushed towards liberal views. i think it's very bias in the schools the way the liberal attitude is pushed. host: do you want to take that? guest: i'm not sure how to respond. i think that young people have freedom of thought as every generation did prior to us. i think at the moment the democratic party and this president is simply connecting better with young voters and it's presenting a vision that young people are responding to. i don't think that's a liberal bias i think that's a real dialogue that this president has put on the table. host: how did you end up holding the political position that is you hold? what was the one determining factor? guest: i come from a political family in west virginia. my dad's in the state senate so i saw the value of public service kind of growing up around the state capital, something i wanted to get involved in. and the young democrats seemed like a great place to really step in.
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i didn't ever intend to be president of the national organization but one thing led to another and i'm glad i did. i think these youth organizations are a great place for young people to have a voice in the political process. it's not always that easy for 20-somethings to break through and have their voices heard. but these are a very positive way of doing that goo. guest: i think young people are indock trin ated on college campuses. and i saw the numbers earlier about how much time pralms spends on these college campuses. so i agree with the caller that we have cases in iowa and california about how these students are being treated on college campuses because of their political affiliation. i don't come from a political family but my father and grandfather owned a small business. i saw the effect that these regulations had on our ability to own a small business and run a successful company that employed people throughout this country and that's what led me
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to the conservative movement. i too was profoundly affect bid 9/11. i was i remember sitting in the classroom, got involved in 2004, went to school in auburn university in alabama and continued my political activities. host: both mentioned the campuses. let me mention the topic of contraception. what does that do as far as the political debate going forward particularly from your per spesketive? guest: it's interesting the whole contraception debate amongst young voters and particularly young women i'm not really sure where mitt romney and rick santorum and the republican field is heading with this because basically r9, 99% of women of child bearing age use contraception. it's just a fact. the affordable care act was providing opportunity for young
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women to be able to have access to this. in fact, 15% of yuck women actually use it -- young women use it for medical reasons. you now have a republican field that's taking a very hard line against birth control and it sounds like some are running for president in 1812 not 2012. it's not resonating with young voters. i think it's going to take a huge toll not only on the youth vote but on the women vote. i think that it's going to be hard for i mitt romney or rick santorum to bounce back and make a connection with these voters after this style of debate. it doesn't make any sense to me politically. guest: i think the issue, the democrats have wanted to identify this as a republican's war on women. and the hypocracy of the left and to come out and say that republicans have this strong stance against women across the board because of this issue is just simply not true. but i think with young voters especially this is a distraction. the harvard institute of
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politics, one of the leading ins tuitions said 4% of the 81 people is -- 74% of young people the number one issue is jobs and the economy. we know that we're confident that's where the young vote lers fall with us. host: akron, ohio, our last call. mike independent line. caller: top of the morning to you. happy st. patrick's day and i just want to let you know that i am a very proud irish american and i'm also a proud catholic as well. but we have not been quite so proud as my catholic church as i would like to be. i've got a short poem i would like to finish with. host: why don't you address a comment or question to our guest. caller: just well involves the birth control. i don't know how they believe
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that we are paying for somebody else's birth control. when it goes for a job, you get a paycheck and you get health benefits. you can either get $1,000 a week or $090 a week plus health benefits. that's out of your pay check. when people get health benefits it's out of their paycheck. nobody else pays for somebody else's health benefits. host: we addressed health benefits as well as the health care act itself. between now and november what are your organizations doing as far as get out the vote efforts things along that line. guest: the top of the program, always organizations is the umbrella organization for 250,000 students on 1800 campuses. and between now and november we'll send out 60 field staff to competitive swing states to recruit, train and mobilize new members. we're the boots on the ground for the republican party. we're the unions of the right. and so we're out there knocking on doors making phone calls to help get republicans elected
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and we're excited to do just that. crveragetsdzrveragetsdznveraget sdzcrveragetsdz is the website. we encourage you to check out our website and see what we're about and why we're the organization and the party talking to young people. guest: very similar. we'll be mobilizing young voters across the country. not just some people misunderstand the young democrats is 35 and under. we actually have high school volunteers that are quite awesome going around knocking on doors, young families, young workers in their families and into their early 30s. it's a huge effort. it's a volunteer grass roots effort. it's not only reenergizing the young people that were part of the 2008 campaign but also those 8 million new young voters who have become voting age since 2008. one of the most exciting things for us is looking at the diversity of the millenial
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generation and how diverse it is for these voters under the age of 30 talking to some of these states young latino voters we just created a hispanic caucus to start reaching out to young latino voters, especially for under the age of 30. it's a very exciting year. reenergizing the 2008 voters but also attracting new folks to the party as well and i think we're off to a great start. host: this is conversation with rod snider of the young democrats with america and alex sliver the national chairman both you gentlemen thank you. >> in our last 45 minutes we're going to take a look at the davis bacon act and find out more about it particularly as it has had some political gainings on the campaign trail. up next reaction to wall street about that retirement via the "new york times" opinion page.
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host: joining us from new york with the "new york times," nelson schwartz. thanks for joining us. guest: goo to be here. host: this -- good to be here. host: greg smith decides to put his retirement note in the opinion page of the "new york
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times." can you tell us what the ripple effect has been? guest: i think it's really been the only thing people on wall street have been talking about since it debutted in the paper. it created a lot of ripples. it's been our most e-mailed story of the last 30 days even though it was only went on line wednesday. so you can kind of see just how much of an impact it's made. host: as far as the discussions that is that are going on, is this just specifically what happens at goldman sachs or generally what's happening with wall street when it comes to investment banks? guest: greg smith worked at goldman for 12 years but i think he was really talking about an issue broadly across wall street. i don't think it's particular to goldman in any way. goldman has some controversies on this score in terms of an s.e.c. suit and concerns about
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dealing with clients. but i think it's an issue that everybody on wall street has struggled with. namely, who comes first in some transactions, the firm itself or the client. host: just offer a brief explanation for those who may not follow this as closely as you do. what does it do as far as the money it makes not only for its own firm but for its clients? guest: well, when goldman is putting together a product, a lot of these products in derivatives, which is where greg smith worked, are very, very complex. and as you price them, it's not transparent like if someone goes to buy or sell a stock and they can just compare different brokerages. it's much more complex than that. and they can be charged more depending on what the brokerage, what the investment firm decides to price it at. it's more open ache. also, -- open pake.
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also, are these the best products they're selling, are these products that are suited to these particular clients? those are all issues he raised saying maybe, are we selling the best product to the client and what they require or what carries the highest margin for us. host: so the question as far as what was going on inside goldman sachs was just the one you brought up, was it the best deal for the customer at the end of the day? guest: right. exactly. and i think again that's something you can see across a wide variety of transactions on wall street. it could be advice on a merger or an acquisition. it could be derivatives in this case you know it could be advice on whether to raise debt issue new stock. again, sometimes the interests particularly the short term versus long term interests of the firm and the client might be different and everybody worries, well, maybe the firm is just thinking about the next transaction rather than the
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next -- or the next quarter rather than the next quarter century. host: for those if you talk to those inside goldman sachs or other places would they cark his statements as fair or out of bounds? guest: a lot of people defended this. people in goldman felt it was unfair. they put out a statement and the c.e.o. and president put out an internal letter saying that in no way does mr. smith's conclusions reflect the values of the firm so there's a lot of disagreement about this. in talking to people though, i found even people who disagreed with mr. smith felt like he had touched on a sensitive issue that many of them talk about in privately even if they disagree with him. host: and even mayor bloomberg weighed in on this yesterday as far as the management of goldman sachs. guest: yes. he went down and visited the offices of goldman and mr.
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bloomberg comes out of wall street. so again, this is something where everybody is at the barricades on this one. host: tell us a little bit about as far as the leadership is concerned especially mr. -- what faces him in the days ahead particularly from this latest incident. guest: it's a p.r. disaster in the sense that this is kind of like, it's as if someone walked out of goldman sachs and pitched their tent at occupy wall street. and i think it's very, very damaging because if these criticisms had come from one of the usual suspects like a michael moore or something like that, or if it had even been about the usual criticism bonuses are too high, compensation is out of whack, that would have been much easier to shrug off. because it was an insider, because it was someone who worked at goldman 12 years, who
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at least on the outside and everything we know seems like a very good employee, respected employee, because those were the contexts of the criticism, i think that's a real challenge for mr. blank finde the chief executive and gary cohen, the president. i think they've got to get out there and make the case of why goldman does add value for its clients. and to be fair, i got e-mails from a lot of clients of goldman saying they've always served them well and goldman has its adhernts and loyalists on wall street but i think they've got to make that case. host: our guest is with us to talk about goldman sachs, the incident this week, the larger issue of ethics practices at banks. if you want to ask them questions here's your chance to do so. the numbers are on the bottom of the screen.
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so would you say that when it comes to mr. blank fine's leadership at the organization, is it coming to an end soon? guest: that's a really tough one to say. he's been in the job since 2006 when he took over for henry paulson who went on to be treasury secretary. so he beens in there six years. i think the average c.e.o. is something around seven years. so he's certainly been in there a little while. on the other hand he's very, very respected on wall street. from everything i've read he's talked about staying another couple of years. again, i think that's a tough one that only he knows the answer to. host: it was brought up this morning in the paper writing. tell us about gary cohen should he -- would he be the next in line as far as leadership is concerned? guest: yes. he would be the next in line. again, i think both have been
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sort of public symbols of a lot of criticism of goldman and wall street. people may remember those hearings from 2010 when goldman was sued by the s.e.c. for fraud, the s.e.c. accused goldman of selling complicated mortgage-backed securities to sclinets but not telling them they were also betting against them. and that was something where s.e.c. sued, was later settled. but there were hearings on capitol hill and goldman executives testified aint really it was not -- it was not goldman's finest hour in terms of that public attention. and i think both lloyd and deparey are symbols of the firm right now and i think that's a tough one. host: call from maryland from
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our republican line. go ahead. caller: good morning. and that was a fascinating article. i read it three times. the article mentioned the responsibility of goldman to investors and the effect it had on other countries. i am concerned with the effect the investment firms have on the middle class in the united states. are there any plans in the works to compensate the middle class for the $17.3 trillion of super generational wealth it took 200 years for the middle class to acquire? and do you know of any safety features that might be involved? thank you very much and i'll hang up to listen. guest: in terms of the question i think the securities industry wall street right now is facing much tougher regulation from
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washington. you may have heard of dodd frank, the new bill that was passed a couple years ago. you may have heard of the voker rule which makes it harder for banks to make bets with their own money. so there's a lot of rules that wall street is now facing that they don't have the flexibility or the free hand that they did before the financial crisis. so in that sense i think -- i don't know if you could say compensate the middle class but i think wall street is looking at a more restrictive regulatory framework. host: connecticut, dan, democrat's line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am in my pajamas and you're in a nice suit today. my first question is, since the repeal of gas spiegel, a memo came out in 2005 which says the concentration of wealth might
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cause social backlash. the example is occupy wall street. what are your thoughts on that? and the second is goldman sachs got credit default swaps on bad credit default obligation which is means they obviously -- you know, bet short on everything. so what are your thoughts on the second question and the first question? host: if you want to address the second first. go ahead. guest: i mean, basically this is part of the industry and i think making markets taking positions, it really depends on how people look at it. it kind of comes with the territory. i will just say on the first part of the question, wall street is definitely in the eye of the storm. in terms of inequality of wealth. occupy wall street, whether you agree with it or disagree with it, i'm really struck at how
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intense the conversation has been since then and how much attention they've drawn on the issue of inequality of wealth and a lot of people on wall street that i talk to were talking about it and went the few of them went down there to talk to people and just get a sense of what was going ong. so i think that it was a moment and i don't think the issue is going away. host: off of twitter. is there still that kind of mentality years later? guest: in fairness to mr. blank fine he actually said that at the end of an interview with a reporter. i think he said it in jest. i think he was -- he as guy who does have a sense of humor. maybe it wasn't the best time to remark then but i think he meant it in jest not literally.
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but he certainly, it's certainly a choice of words i think he regrets. host: shawn independent line. caller: good morning the great free market economist milton freeman said that corporations are not fillen thropic institutions. i think people need to grow up a little bit. the only obligation they have is to maximize profit share. from a marxist perspective what we should do is not reregulate the economist richard wolf has pointed out if we reregulate all we do is leave these with all the incentive in the world to undo the regulations and also the means with which to undo all of the regulations. so what must be done and pay attention all you occupiers out there. go to richard wolf, his web site and look at tained the introduction class to mamplism. we need to nationalize these
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corporations and redistribute this wealth. we can't reregulate. people have to get that out of their heads. power has to be transferred. the institutions give money to think tanks, to lobbyists. they'll simply undo the regulation. guest: well, the university of chicago graduate i was interested to hear mention milton freedman. i don't know if this is a question of mamplism or milton freedman. i would just respond to one thing he said. for wall street banks they have what they call a fiduciary responsibility to look out for their clients' interest. so they fall into a special category which is different and i think people should try to understand that in the context of this whole debate. host: was there a sense at least from the way you read the op ed sense of sour grapes from
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the way he went about this? guest: that's one thing that i found really interesting. that did not come through in the, in his essay. i think there's a different narrative and i think critics of the piece and defenders of goldman privately and to some extent publicly suggested well maybe mr. smith hadn't been promoted to managing director. maybe he didn't get a big enough bonus. maybe he was frustrated. you know, i don't know what was in his head. i have not spoken to him. however, that sour grapes tone did not come through in the piece. what came through in the piece is someone who really was dead dite this firm, who believed in this firm and felt like someone along the line the practices had departed from the principles. host: savannah, georgia, you're on.
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caller: i would like one simple question answered. when the bailout of the banks came about, were they not forced into bailing out the other banks? guest: i'm not sure i follow the question. but i think when the government bailed out the banks, there was really not that much choice in many ways because the system was really on the brink. i mean in the sense of investors had lost confidence. lehman collapsed as we all know and in the days that followed investors were fleeing the likes of morgan stanley and goldman would have been vulnerable. the banking system. i think the ideas was let's stabilize the stms and the government had to provide the
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ultimate backstop. i think that's the context there at least. host: jacksonville, alabama. next up -- sorry. hold on. i think they've left us. let's go to warfield, virginia. caller: good morning. now i'm wondering if this thing with the banks have anything to do with inshurebes companies. -- insurance companies. when are they going to be investigated? guest: well, i think the insurance companies really is a different issue. insurance companies typically come under state regulation. so i think that's really a separate issue from what mr. smith and people are talking about on wall street. host: so let's -- i want to get your reaction to something that lloyd blank fine said when he testified in 2010.
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he talked about the change in the mission or the change in time. i want you to listen to what he said then and bring it up to date with our viewers now. >> i would say that increasingly -- and this is a change in the sociology of the business that took place over the last 15 or 20 years. i'm not sure it was precipitate bid the fall of glass spiegel or it caught it to fall as u.s. institutions had to become more competitive with global institutions but somewhere along the line clients used to ask you for advice and then went -- if you were an investment bank and then went to other institutions and asked them for financing and to take principled risk. somewhere along the line they stopped asking necessarily to do things for them but to do things with them.
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in other words torks be the other side. and today in the world -- and this evolved over a long period of time, to be effective for your clients you not only had to give them advice but you had to have the financial wherewithal -- in other words, the balance sheets -- to be able to accomplish their objectives not just advise them on their objectives. host: so that said, is that still the take today particularly inside goldman? guest: well, i think banks do both and that is model. there are smaller firms that only provide advice. there are firms that do banking and trading and advice. i think though bigger firms that do it all are here to stay.
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i think in terms of activities like proprietaryry trading, that's going to -- that's something that's heavily restricted now. thanks to new financial regulations from congress. but i don't think we're going to go back to a model where firms just give advice. i think they provide a variety of services. and clients do want that. it is a free market out there and clients are not unsophisticated. that's the other side of it that again when i was writing about this this week and got a lot of e-mails, there are people who said, look, clients can try to take advantage of firms, too. you know, again, it depends on where you're coming from on this one. host: next up is tracy, california on our republican line. we're talking to ken. go ahead. caller: i have a very serious question. i run a small company in california let me tell you i'm
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from the silicon valley. what is being done to this country by this goldman sachs morgan stanley and j.p. morgan which nobody is talking about the regulations out of s.e.c. which are coming out are very clearly fraudulent. there is the corporate crooks colluding with the wall street bankers sucking every penny of the american pension system and how it is being done i will give you a very simple example how the press reporters are covering this financial nonsense in our country. a recent example. after the 2008 crash, we all know warren buffet said derivatives are the nuclear of financial destruction. instead of fixing they gave the new regulations after 2008 crash, which is a weekly derivative. now, the markets are so rigged that the bankers are so hungry for money they are suck every
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penny out of the system and i will give you an example which i have a website called scam flicks. host: before you go on let's let our guest address what you've brought up. go ahead. guest: i think that is one view. i as a reporter tend not to think things are black and white. i try to be fair. i don't think you can say on the one hand the system is totally rigged and the bankers are vampire squid which is one wha one writer called goldman. i think things are more complicated than that. and i will say, you know, again, in writing this i had a lot of people e mailing me saying america -- well, financial services are one thing. america still does very well. we're global leaders in it. and if we don't do it it will go elsewhere. so i think it is more complicated than the caller
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suggests. host: what do you think would come short-term as far as the publishing of this op ed especially when it comes inside goldman sachs? what's going on as far as internally? guest: i think a lot of the wall street firms are thinking from a public relations standpoint how do we change our image, how do we show people what we do is beneficial? how do we show our clients what we do adds value? i think if they're not, they will be sort of really thinking hard about this in the coming days because there's some big issues now being debated and formulated in washington. like i mentioned the voker rule which has to do with whether firms can use their own capital to make bets on the market and how you interpret that, that's being devised by regulators. and i think firms are sensitive to that and are watching that debate. there's also been criticism
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from a delaware chancery court judge of a recent deal involving goldman that again it was someone from an insider in the sense of someone who is part of the system criticizing the firm in terms of how they deal with clients. i think the firms really are going to want to look at this issue and sort of figure out how they have to deal with it. because i don't think they can innoring it. host: idaho, gary, independent caller: yes. good morning. i think the previous caller had it right. there's a lot of fraud going on and it's difficult for the little guy get help. in my case i got my congressman involved, and he is now checking into why bank of america posted my payment as
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late so they could claim it. how come no one has been sent to jail? core seen lost -- corzine lost a lot of money but he is still walking free. who should be prosecuting this, and why is it so hard for the average consumer to get help? host: mr. nelson schwartz? guest: well, there have been a lack of prosecutions in the wake of the financial crisis. i don't think anybody would argue with you there. in terms of the big banks, they had a $20 billion settlement, so you are seeing some movement there. these are heavily-regulated industries.
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but you know, whether their customer service is good is another issue. host: corpus christi, alice, democrats line. caller: good morning. host: hello? caller: i love all the comments and the conversation. y'all are over with in about 14 minutes, is that correct? >> host: we're about 15 minutes, go ahead. caller: i'm from corpus christi. and there has been a lot of hulla ballew since perri came back as governor. but my main thing is with mr. nelson schwartz, i think that we need to get to the basis -- basic of your ethics on investment banks. host: and so do you have a question for our guest, ma'am?
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caller: yes, sir, i do. how much go ahead. caller: bank of america. yes, sir. host: go ahead, mr. nelson schwartz. guest: i'm not sure i follow the question on bank of america? host: caller has left. can i ask another question in relation to that? guest: sure. 40eu7 when it comes to practices, does goldman sachs have a policy for a whistleblower, so if he had concerns, mr. smith, could he go to someone and make his case out retribution? guest: well, i'm sure goldman has internal policies for making such a complaint and another suggested he would have raised them in alternativelyly. but keep in mind, he
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specifically said there was nothing illegal going on. i think wheafs concerned about was whether the firm was kind of pushing the envelope and kind of conforming to its own internal set of principals. i think that's where he was really focused about whether the firm was living up to its commitment to clients and to, you know, its employees and so on. host: state college pennsylvania, republican line. gregory? caller: yes, sir. my question is for mr. nelson schwartz. host: you're on. thank you for taking my call, mr. nelson schwartz. relative to mr. blankfein and his statement that he does god's work. i think he was flat on and perfectly honest when he says that. because when we grew up after the second world war, we were taught to trust in god and the united states. and after the second world war,
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we began exporting slavery, because no one in this country would performance skivent with our minimum wages -- so this paper we have been issuing for years and years and years throughout the world is coming back to roost. it's gray matter. and what mr. blage fine is doing is -- it is god's work. he's taking advantage of the trust we built throughout years with people all over the world who trust in god and the united states like we were brought up to do. host: we'll leave it right there and let our guest respond. guest: again, i'm not sure what the questionis. but it sounds like there's criticism of the money policy. but i think we should kind of keep the focus on wall street and how they deal with clients. host: eggerton, wisconsin.
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you're on with nelson schwartz of "the new york times." caller: it's maybe three. ethics and the part of the regulators going back to watching c-span during the hearings, there was a congressman that was questioning one of the -- and they were clarifying, they were picking the winners and losers. you came forward say there was a banking institution that was doing everything right and above-board. everything they asked for. yet this bank was put on the not so good list. and the congressman was very frustrated, picking the win erps and louiser. tell your question for our guest, sir. caller: can he explain why metlife was given bad ratings
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when they fighter -- again, they are picking winners and losers and what that did in the marketplace to the institution. host: i'll let you ard that if you wish, mr. nelson schwartz. guest: yes. i don't think the stress test was about picking winners and losers. i think it was the federal reserve and their experts going through the books of 19 large banking holding companies and basically saying what happens with different narrow i don't know guest: and i think sort of going through the numbers and drawing conclusions based on the numbers in their books. i don't think the federal reserve was picking winners and losers in that case. host: we're talking about ethics and investment banks. go ahead. caller: sir, when you use the
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phrase, that wall street is heavily regulated, i find that almost a clownish statement. let me just point to the fact that 2/3 to 3/4 on wall street are high-frequency trade based on law rhythms. and last a sum total of 15 seconds. now you're going to talk to me about market-making ability. that's not market-making. that's a caller: so you want to talk about a heavily-regulated industry, the winners in that industry are the house, and the house is wall street. host: mr. nelson schwartz? guest: well, i would just respond, there are a lot of regulators. you have the s.e.c. on
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securities. you've got the industry zone. you've got state regulators. of did it -- is it a gigantic industry with very, very deep pocks? and you can say well, does the s.e.c. have enough invest girets take on to have -- there's certainly a lot of rules on the books that they have to contend with and agencies they deal with every day. host: for our guest, justin is on our republican line. go ahead. caller: hello. my question for the speaker is -- the scanned navian governments in the early 1990's, if you can speak to have a so we're all
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derivatives and how they affected the 2008 chris sis so -- what's the most impress i've to you? caller: my understanding is they went in, and they bought the -- brought the banks to the public sector for a short period of time to reform the banks to really reign them in. they took them, the banks away from the shareholders. put them almost as a socialist out of a backswinging system. we'll let mr. schwarts reown -- guest: i think in this issue here we're talking more about investment banking. banks making market, helping clients with transactions. it's slightly different. that's one point. in terms of derivatives, i
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would just say, derivatives are very complicated. that's the security with which whose trade -- there are cases where derivatives can be beneficial, for instance, if you're an airline and you're trying to lock in a price for gas or oil before it goes up or in you're a farmer and you want to head against a drop in prices, there are roles to be played by these products. so just keep that in mind? inform caller: hello. good morning. in a way, i'm just kind of reemphasizing something the earlier gentleman said that your guest mentioned, in
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essence, while there's aly, it first child out of clem. i worked for a dealer then later in my career i worked for a well-known company. in fact, one of my bosses became president of the new york stock exchange, and head of the s.e.c. later. nothing ever illegal or fraudulent occurred, but everything went up to the line as long as it made the company money. this regulation that occurred recently, these new laws, every company has their guys working on it, their taxpayers and their company, so this is going to blow up down the road. host: let me offer something that was offered on twitter.
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this guest says current regulators all prove they have no teeth. it goes back to the investment by doing the number by hand. john: i think the issue is there's a lot of regulation on the books. the question is on the scale and the resources of the regulators and second the and the banks have much deeper pockets right now. the banks can be of -- and some will become attorneys for the banks themselves. these are really big issues and really big problems, and the caller has a point in that you know, we only became aware of madoff after billions were lost. the s.e.c. had warnings, didn't act. so obviously the regulators
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have a lot to answer for in terms of the financial crisis. and i thought the caller had a god point even in going to the line. nothing -- was done but i think that's why that letter was so provocative. host: democrats line, go ahead. caller: good morning. the way i see it is we may have passed dodd frank, but it seems our poll telegrams are a little bit the question is, until we get money out of politics and quit this buying up politicians, dodd frank is not going to get -- it's not being bonded. and so, they may have a leader
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now with her fighting tooth and nail. but they are still not doing anything. and the store was thrill -- host: we have one more caller on our republican line. caller: yes. the ethics is only part of the problem. the part of the problem is corporate america and government, second hand. that is the really issue. and this is just another distraction, because the politicians should be there early and only why they are there. they wore we had employees. and the employees should not dictate what their salary is and should not get paid for live during a short term in office.
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host: what about the relationship government has with wall street these days? guest: well, you talk to wall street. they really feel picked on. but there is a lot of power and money that wall street has. that's part of our system. i think the bigger issue going forward is it's an election year. i'm wondering -- people are going to watch and see whatever pennsylvania -- i think that's going to be an area for fertile reporting. host: how much more traction does this story gain especially on wall street banks? >> i'm curious to see what clients begin to say. the companies these to have -- host: do you get the big banks
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now in terms of their reluctant to push back guest: yes. they said clients have been ringing up with us. i think among the lower-level and younger executives, i feel like it really touched a nerves. some older ones may have felt it was something sure the nelson times, mr. nelson schwartz, thank you for your time this morning. guest: good to be here. host: next stop. we're going to take a look at something that's been mentioned on this station and we talk about labor. the davis-bacon act. it deals with prevailing wages. our next guest is going to explain how it came into being and how it affects us
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throughout current day, and we'll have that topic when we come back. >> our system is fundamentally undemocratic in many ways. one way is closed primary. so in half the states of the country, 40% of all the voters can't participate in the primaries. so they had no say in to as a result, we get more and more extreme candidates on both ends of the >> linda killion writes in "the
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swing vote" also on back tv at 8:00 eastern, david on how roger ails turned the network into an extension of the republican party. then mark la vained his quotes. book tv every weekend on c-span 2. >> they would wear garments made of home-spun cloth. and that home-spun cloth would be more rough-textured and much less fine than the goods to -- many were physically and -- verbally expressing their concern. >> and the role of women during the revolutionary war.
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on "sportscenter" three. to the attorney general, ken kuch nelly discusses -- the attorney general ken cuccinelli. >> i don't see things as the harbinger of gloom. despite the language which was an unnecessary and lost our brod language down to a very thin tunnel. and -- so if that's a -- again, there hasn't been enough time since the comstock case before we establish how he is going to -- host: and the --
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>> you can see the entire interview with virginia attorney general ken cuccinelli on news makers, sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. eastern and sunday at 6:00 p.m. host: our guest, steven schooner of the george washington university. he is a law professor there. . mr. steven schooner we mentioned on this program. it's been mentioned by others. something called the davis-bacon act. if you had to boil it down in english, what is it? >> it's on government construction -- guest: the government is perceived to pay construction workers significantly more,
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another way is this is a classic pro union and protects the workers from being taken advantage of or being exploited. >> so you can put it into play november -- guest: come down to the depression. the law was actually passed in 1931. so first of all, we go through the depression. people are out of work. one of the things is local contractors are losing out on work. they pay fair weights that are going to to have -- so the local economy is losing jobs to people who are being brought from for substandard wages. so the thought was to pay the prevailing local wage rate. what happened over time was
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they ended up distinguishing between union shops and what we think of as open-shop contractors. the prevailing wage rate today is basically a moniker for the union wage rates, not the market wage rates. host: a government contract, i am bound by this act. i can't get around that. guest: yes and it doesn't matter if you're using union workers or known workers or open shop workers so in effect what we have create thed is a guest: here's the most interesting part of davis-bacon. the much more significant one is another act where about all the battleground has been during the clinton, bush and
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now obama administration as they have basic live ping-ponged back and forth. the funny thing today is if you have >> so the service contract act is? >> of -- and most of the money the government spends in contracts is on services. we unofficially inflate wages on service contracts, too. and that's did youen by a number of things for example the contractor rule. bottom line, most people would to -- there's a number of ways that could be quite interesting, next typically when it comes tom this thing called the davis-bacon act. we ran out of time to talk ant it. questions for our guest, call
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the numbers below. is the email and off of twitter, it is guest: i think it's an extremely political issue. what's interesting is the clinton administration, very pro union, pushed the boundaries contract out so far. if second bush administration came in and immediately repealed all those efforts. the obama administration came out with executive orders right after the inauguration. so we have this ping-pong but david's bacon, richard nixon of all people suspended the
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bacon davis act. foe -- basically >> -- host: mitt romney on the campaign trail took this on as a topic specifically addressing davis-bacon here. here's what he had to say. >> i know the american people, and free individuals as union and non-union can compete. but it's time for the government to say let's let the competition begin on an even playing field and do not tilt things. [applause] >> and return to the principles of the declaration of ipt and the constitution. host: returning to the principles of the constitution
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also said to the union bostons. this is how we spent my behigh. -- if you have a situation where the government is a customer or the marketplace is exploiting workers, it makes sense to protect them. minimum wages and the like. the question is, if the union buys into, this because of the way this company drills -- the question is if the november for example, think about when you're spending stimulus money. if we're going to throw billions or hundreds of billions into the economy, would you rather have more miles of roads, more bridges or more infrastructure built or possibly employ newer people with lower rages to have -- the
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republican has been anti-union, and i think this is an example of santorum being in the wrong place at the wrong time. guest: this is the funny thing. as i understand it is santorum should be criticized by the conservatives for having chose on the repeal davis bacon. he was basically -- santorum was voting to reshore it righter than instead of -- this davis-bacon law i discovered while moving to knoxville where there's a very large federal government presence, mostly oak ridge and the carbon energy, right.
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ok. this has been a disaster for my profession. i'm hesitate to tell you what it is, but it's technical writing. also caught unin this law are registered nurses. there's a whole bunch of occupations passed in the 1960's and they are declined and defined as blue collar -- educational educations. now the wage, the hourly wage was originally intended to be a four. you can't go lower than that. some time during the push. -- he said look aft one of these with a high school education. guest: i am told i need nothing but a high school education and they are not going to pay me anymore than $30 an hour when i
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was getting $65 for this. host: so one of the first interesting things that you point out of the is that when we often say davis-bacon and including many of the other labor laws and service contract acts. but one of the things that you identify which is so critically important, because it has in place a rule almost classifying every type of week fofe -- the thing that's much more complicated from an economic standpoint to understand is that most contractors competing for government work are competing. and whether it's low-price wins or priced as a major evaluation factor, there are incentives to drive the contract place price down, so almost all of the
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contract evers the exact same labor rate, but testify -- the collective bargaining rates are basically available to everybody is to have -- you're only going to look at her eyes. we're it's one of the unique phenomenon of the way the union laws have played out in government contracts. host: this is rick from annapolis. go ahead. caller: yes. commenting on what you just said. here's what's happening. here's the big problem. you have contractors they are bidding on contracts and the contractor who is not paying the prevailing wage underbids sand wins the contract. the second issue i'd like you to address -- >> robbie do you mind we do one
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one. for better or for worse, was the davis-bacon and indeed all these labor laws, they are extensive compliance regimes. the government has the right to get access to the payrolls and have audit rights and if the government can fulfill -- in terms of paying these wages, the -- they could be suspended or barred from future government work altogether. so to be clear on this. if you believe that there is a contractor that is not fulfilling their requirements under these labor laws and that information is disclosed even through a whistleblower action or whatever. the ramifications from the contract of of --
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caller: you just mentioned compliance. if you were to look throughout the country, how many enforce ment officers are there checking on these contracts? for instance in new york, the department of hud has like two investigators for how the st.s of contracts. here's what happened. they had to -- they have certified payrolls. and you have to to have you can be indicted. you can be prosecuted. here's what i'd like you to tell me. how many contractors have either been intitled and convicted or beyond that, because it's such low amounts. how many have been debarred? host: we'll leave it there. guest: this is all public information. so for example, i don't want the necessarily promote the
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work of project on government oversight or pogo. but while you're watching television, you can fair to up your internet and go to they deal with have what they to quick so for example, who has been prosecuted indicted and the like. in addition, you can go to something called to to -- the staggering number of contractors who have been debarred or suspended in the past. so you can get very specific information on the contractors who have been debarred and suspended from government contracts. host: what kind of numbers are we talking about? guest: huge numbers. host: karl on the independence line.
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-- of course the laws providing a prevailing wage. and what i found was that in many cases, the wages were much, much higher when you went to massachusetts than they were here in new hampshire. and part of the problem is not just in how we regular threat private sector. but in the public sector, we have an awful lot of union members and that the particular time it would seem our public sector employees get much better benefits and pay and the other problem is that at a time when we're talking about social security, and we're going to take retirement age and cut the benefits, flees public thought and at what point do we stop to say the free market prevails.
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host: so there's actually a fair apt of more debate today about whether government employees are overpaid compared to the private sector. i can tell you after having served at legitimate issue. >>. fofe -- if you're in the interested basically a report was written saying the postal service are under a lot of pressure and we're talking about shutting down post offices one a week. said if you really want to save money, give the postal service a waiver from the service contract act. because they believe they are paying their contractors significantly more than the market rate, because the labor
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laws the government imposeds are fundamentally inflationary. that puts the policy issue squarely on the table. let president obama or santorum or romney debate. fofe >> there have been suspensions of the act. president roosevelt and president fixen in 197 is. in 1992, president george h.w. bush suspended it for the gulf coast cleanup which was restored by president clinton in 1993. a viewer brings up via twitter this morning talking about the relationship specifically about the davis-bacon act and what happened with the aftermath of hurricane katrina. >> right.
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guest: so the hurricane katrina story a complicated one because the government does not look out in trying to protect to have -- it's not reasonable to expect the united states government to be able to impose its same quality control standards and to guest: it happens. when you take the staggering amounts of money and people, you're not going to get the same product as in a pristine office setting when you have time to plan. frankly in retrospect, we didn't do great during hurricane katrina or during the war in afghanistan. but i think, however, where the waiver came into player, but the other thingfection, there was also -- almost all of the
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track record on that didn't go terribly well either. so all of this stuff when it gets politicized, you're never going to get the economic results you want to see. host: our guest is steven schooner a law professor. we're talking about the davis-bacon act. john, you're next. caller: yes. i am a retire fed tool and dye maker for the boing industry, and i would like to know your comment on the north carolinaing situation when bo ing wanted to move over there to build their airliner. and the government stepped in and host: ok. so the national labor relations
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board got involved. and like i said, i really attacked the fofe -- i or you or unions and the kinds of pay and benefit union employees might get. again, that's what's citizenshipically happened in democratic administrations. i think you could make a very compelling argument that a car contractor like anyone else, should be able to -- whenever they want. they were moving out from a union jurisdiction into an open shop jurisdiction. personally, i would rather not see the government get involved in these types of issues. but again, i think that one breaks down strite down partson
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-- down partisan lines. most of you know boing is one of the biggest contracts the government does business with. and frankly you will not see awful. >> somebodys to! yes. to if you looked, they -- it is prevailing with wages and benefits. the same thing with the service contract act as well. so normally when we look at what the floor is. it's going to be the pay wages and the other benefits associated with it. >> independent line. joan, hello. >> hello. caller: i have two questions. i think you started to go into fortune contracts. there was a hearing last week from the defense department where they were actually came out and said they don't audit. for contractors, -- are they
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-- the subcontractors apparently can make out with the billions of dollars unaccounted for and yet you're going to go after subcontractors here. the other question is in the sank aware -- guest: let me do the second question first, i think the united states with government has clear policies that you're not supposed to be doing exactly what you just described. so there's always an issue of compliance and how it foyt -- by contractors. they have not set a report. on the other hand the issue of performing outside the country
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is complicated. because many, many of the mandated laups don't apply outside the united states. they are not covered by the congressional mandate. so it's very difficult, particularly in this contract to talk about davis-bacon and the service contract act to make the analogy. for example, in iraq and afghanistan the wages were paid to third-country national locals are incredibly low, by any objective -- host: thank you for holding on. margaret, democrats line. caller: yes. i haven't heard the discussed yet. in the case of a contract that's given to say a company to do is a -- to do a project in this country, the people that do the work, they are
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generally not full-time employees that actually work for the contractor. the contractor usually >> i think we have to be a little bit careful about these types of overgeneralizations, for example, we had a call from employees. there are plenty of contractors who are using full-time employees. there are plenty of contractors who use part-time employees. where it gets complicated a almost every conceivable contractor gives away to -- host: caller, go ahead. caller: the point i'm trying to make is you're talking about the wages paid to people who only work during a specific period of time for a specific
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job. guest: true. caller: when that job is ended, they do not have work. they may not have work for another six months. so the wages they are paid during that working period to to guest: so to be clear, the davis-bacon mandate specifically applies to workers on the site. what's more is if you have employees who do part of the work on the site and part elsewhere, the contract is able to make or pay two different wages. when we look at prevailing wage rates, whether it's under the davis-bacon act for construction or service contract act for services, we're only looking at the actual work done on the government contracts and of course the -- they don't have
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the database to track how those people earn over the course of the year or when they have spells of -- alexis, erepublican line. caller: thank you. we are land developers who the develop land for low-income housing. and we try to utilize these programs developed by the hud programs, and we are completely unable to make any project work, because the wage rate that we need to pay for the hud and davis-bacon requirements are virtually impossible. so on the one hand the government is promoting certain programs. let's develop affordable housing. but then on the other hand it's requiring these wage rates that basically kill the project are
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to -- so developing projects for those who are most in need. guest: i'm assuming watching this show would not be surprised there are individual panned dates that are inconsistent with any numbers of congressional mandatory dates or policies. it's a fact of life, incredibly frustrating and one of the strengths and weaknesses of the american democratic system as i am inclined to say, i feel your pain, but i have to say i'm not really surprised. host: joe, independent line. this is steven schooner, george washington university. >> yes. hello? to
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caller: how about a couple statements. i'm 68 years old. always paid lower. then congress turns around and passes laws several years ago that they get automatic increases. host: so why don't we leave it there and let our guest respond. guest: so on the issue of prevailing wage rates, we could probably spend the rest of the day on this. but there's a easy way to think about it. the department of labor is in the business of determining and publishing prevailing wage rates, and similarly they have responsibilities under the service cargo act, but it's in the business offs collecting wage ratesfied specific categories of of the wage rate
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is intended to be what is paid to the majority of the people in that category. davis-bacon says it is easier to get these from shops so the data is heavily populated by biased date avement if you go back to the original legislative history of the davis-bacon act, the original intent was whatever the prevailing rate tpwhuzz that locality -- guest: that was congress' original intent. host: i'm assuming this falls
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under davis-bacon. but can a licensed contractor make a bid and then subcontract once assured by the d -- host: maryland? republican line, george, go ahead. caller: hi. i'm an aluminum worker. and i'm responding about the enforcement of the prevailing rates. and the first and -- and the first enforcer is the contracting officer. we watch our contractors very closely to make sure that there is no violation, because we have a fiduciary responsibility not just to the taxpayer, but to the service member, especially those in the theater. and the other comment is someone was talking about the
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rate the pay rate for federal employees. well, the gas rates are going up each day, seems like, my cola has not been contributed. so i'm actually paying instead of -- guest: thank you for your service. the 1102 commune. the people that actually have the authority to enter into contracts on behalf of the united states government. host: good morning. carol, democrats line. caller: yes. my question is, why do, like if you're in a union, and the union contracts for you a better wage, why does everybody get the better wage? why don't only the union members get it? because a lot of people, they are all proud to be from the
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right to work states, and when we emake more pun, because the union decides they want to fight for a raise or something, then everybody starts jumping all over the union. and i want to know how come, then, we have to turn around, if we win, and pay those people, the very people that were, you know, trying to get a raise for, then we have to turn around and let the people whop didn't help in the fight get part of the raise. why the guest: the first answer to your question is because congress said so. but now the question is, why? and i think what's missing in the question that you ask is, the government's first mandate
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so award a construction contract to the bidder who comes into the office and . guest: awarding the connecticut to the one paying the lower rate. so the congressional mandate is everybody has to offer the same wage rate to their employees working on the site whether they are union or not so that the union, or the construction contractors who are paying better wages have an opportunity to compete and aren't excluded from the marketplace in its entirety. host: this is william, independent line caller: to comment on what he was saying, i have a trades man's job here in florida. and i had a contract who i
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underbidded on one of the bids, and he -- he wasn't paying us for davis-bacon and once we caught wind of it, he ended up having to pay us, which in turn hurt him, because he underbidded. >> that's a terrific guest: but the government has the opportunity to pay -- your example is a terrific one. host: some may say who is davis? and who is bacon? and why do they relate to this matter? guest: that's a terrific question. i have no idea. [laughter] caller: i was wondering on transportation or energy
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matters, can wage issue cause delays? delays due waiter storage and into the general fund, and uses it for other purposes let's say to maintain that -- guest: a point i made earlier in the show, at the time of the obama administration we were pumping huge amounts of stimulus money into the economy, that's the moment when we should have had this discussion because it crystallizes the tradeoff. what's the point behind the stimulus money? on the one hand it's to put more people to work and prime the pump. but you could also argue when the government is throwing a lot of money into the economy,
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one of our goals should be to maximize the miles of road that we're building and the bridges we can construct or and -- guest: but the lower wages, get a lot more construction and value for your money if you work under this. so in effect the decision made was we would create opportunities for a limited number of people and make sure they were entitled to high wages and benefit and basically get the amount of infrastructure in return that we would normally get. but no decision was made that we would tilt balance around do the congressional regime we've been living with now for basically 80 years. host: jim, independent line. caller: yes. good day to you usual -- good day to you. what's the best or quickest way for all of us, as wage earners,
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i come from a retirement plan. i respect that. and i want that to happen for all people. to -- caller: so much of a high percentage going overseas, what's the quickest way we can get those jobs back to america and these walls imply the fairness? guest: what's interesting about this particular issue is there's an entirely different set of mandates to towards issues you raise. we have the buy american act. that's a general rule that basically says the government is supposed to purchase products that are mined, manufactured or produced in the united states of america. so it's not so much the ownership of the country, but there's a strong economic bias to contracts to
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guest: pursuant to the international trade agreement, all the major trading partners basically dropped these bare yers and we dropped the barriers to them. but there's a long-standing preference for contracts to be done in the united states of america. host: that was the last call. does this issue go away at all? we hear lots of calls for permanent repeal of davis bacon. we hear arguments for keeping it. but is this something anybody will touch? >> the thing that's most shocking is the minimum standard to -- at a minimum, someone ought to be indexing these things, but realistically
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history suggests we're not going to see repeal of the davis-bacon and it is the sacred cow, and i'm surprised they jumped into this one. host: here's tomorrow's show for you. we're going to have a round table looking at politics. ken of npr will join us for a discussion. you will meet jere van dyk and he is an author and he'll talk about the latest developments in afghanistan as far as the war and erica newland will join us and talk about the latest privacy problems with google. that comes your way tomorrow. for "washington journal" at 7:00. thank you for joining us today. happy st. patrick's day. happy st. patrick's day. we'll see you tomorrow.


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